Elrich re-signs ahead of Roar clash

The Newcastle Jets have today confirmed that Tarek Elrich has re-signed with the club for a further 2-years, keeping the dynamic right-back in Newcastle until the conclusion of the Hyundai A-League 2011/12 season.

The Newcastle Jets have today confirmed that Tarek Elrich has re-signed with the club for a further 2-years, keeping the dynamic right-back in Newcastle until the conclusion of the Hyundai A-League 2011/12 season.

Elrich began as a trainee with the Jets in the inaugural season of Australia-s top-flight competition, but has since become a key member of the squad. His consistent performances at club level have also earned him Qantas Socceroos selection in recent times.

One of the most recognisable faces in the Jets- playing roster, the affable Elrich has long been a fan favourite and today Head Coach Branko Culina praised the 22-year-old.

“Not only is Tarek a terrific football player but he-s a terrific ambassador for Newcastle Jets Football Club, and even though he-s a Sydney boy I think he-s a great ambassador for Newcastle.”

“Some of the things he does off the park that people don-t necessarily see are just fabulous and it-s a great example of what this club is all about and what this club wants to be. And that is a community club where players are willing to do things outside of their responsibilities as a football player,” Culina said.

Elrich himself believes that with 63 Hyundai A-League appearances already under his belt, the next few years will see him develop as one of the true leaders within the club.

“I-m still a young player, and we-ve got a lot of young talent at this club, and I-d like to help them out as much as I can, especially over the next few years, and guide them in the right direction.”

“I-ve been through tough times as a footballer in my short career and some of the young boys at this club are eventually going to go through the same thing. The club sees me as one of the more experienced players, so hopefully I can guide these kids and help them out as much as I can.”

“On a personal note, it-s been great for me, the past couple of years. I-ve learned so much and I think I-ve still got a lot to learn, especially on the pitch as a footballer, with the help of Branko and our assistant coach Mark Jones hopefully I can better myself,” said Elrich.

Culina, meanwhile, has his immediate sights firmly fixed on this Friday-s important round 13 clash away to the Brisbane Roar, who also sit on 12 competition points.

When the two clubs last met earlier this season, the result was a stunning 3-0 home defeat for the Jets, and the side eventually went on a 6-game winless streak which was snapped in last Sunday-s 2-1 victory over arch rivals the Central Coast Mariners.

“We really let ourselves down in that game and from there on it went all pear-shaped for us, it really was disastrous. I don-t think that we played that badly, it was just that we lost concentration and focus and got punished with two goals in one minute. After that it was all over.”

“There was a lot to learn from that game, the concentration and discipline is something that, if you want to be a top team, you have to have for the whole of the game, not just part of the game. That was probably the key lesson to learn from that game,” Culina explained.

Indeed, Culina is looking for more of the same passion and enthusiasm that his side displayed last start against the Mariners, and insists that nothing short of full commitment will prove successful against a Roar outfit desperate to avoid a club-record 5 straight losses.

“This team has proven to be a good footballing team, we can play football and we-ve demonstrated that a number of times, but what we have to learn is to fight, scratch, do whatever it takes to win a game.”

“We have to learn to win no matter what. It-s not enough to do it in a derby one week and then go missing again.”

“So the same attitude, application, is going to be required against Brisbane Roar because they have lost four games, so that makes them a bit vulnerable, but it also makes them very, very difficult because they-re only one game away from a win,” he cautioned.